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23 August 2018


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Bernard Corden

I can recall a minister in the Canadian parliament who claimed that he spent the first few months how he reached such dizzy heights and the remainder of his tenure wondering how his colleagues got there.

Philip Fitzpatrick

It seems like the ‘churchy types’ are on the brink of ascendancy in Canberra as we speak.

Instead of foreign aid to PNG we might soon be back to sending missionaries.

Another interesting aspect is the way ‘celebrity’ is taking the place of religion as the ‘opiate of the masses’.

Don't believe me. Why then is a reality TV star currently the head of the free world?

Paul Oates

Good topic Phil. Let’s open it up a tad more.

The church and state were virtually synonymous in the Middle Ages prior to the Reformation, since the political state, namely the Catholic popes and Medieval kings maintained they had been appointed by god and therefore could be relied upon to do god’s work and enunciate god’s holy words. In this they were supported by the Catholic church and the papal authority of the day who also benefited financially through taxes and tithes and occasionally selling bishoprics to whoever had the wherewithal to apply. One only has to visit Europe to see how the church allowed its leaders to virtually live like kings and decide who be favoured and who could and might be burned at the stake for example.

If this scenario seems like a fairly biased view, let me say that I believe the original message being conveyed had very little to do with the pomp and ceremony of the established church and trappings of even the modern state. Perhaps Lenin was not far wrong when he deprecatingly referred to religion as the ‘opiate of the mases’?

The original Christian message, being in mind Jesus was never a Christian but a Jew, and which has suffered through multiple translations from Aramaic, Greek, Latin and various versions of English, was simply to be compassionate towards your fellow humans and live in a respectful and law abiding way. Many of our modern laws are thanks to this concept.

The essence of the original message was enunciated in the concept of spirituality and conveyed by the example of the wind, ‘It exists and you see its effects but you cannot see the wind itself’.

This could be said to be a very reasonable view for humanity if it hadn’t been corrupted by those who sought to warp its simplicity for their own ends. If the message had to be simplified and personified in order for the layman to understand it imperfectly, then presumably that was what happened.

Reading about the era when the Crusades were operating it seems fairly clear that in order to convince those doubters who needed some sort of material proof that they were following the proper path, miraculous examples were touted around such as ‘a piece of the original cross’ or a ‘bone of some saint or apostle’ as if that would ensure whoever possessed this material artifact had some claim to be better than someone who didn’t. Thousands and millions have died believing in these treasures when the original message, we are told, was to concentrate on the spiritual and forget about the material. It obviously was useful and convenient for those who then confused the two to be able to use this morphed ideology for their own personal ends.

So we arrive at the point where some of today’s PNG leaders have decided to copy the concepts of the European Middle ages around a thousand years ago and obviously try to emulate the same results.

Well perhaps they have at least progressed from the original ideas in PNG of cargo cult and have apparently meandered through the more informed concepts of money cults to that time in European history where miracles were claimed and people believed in mouldy old material items in order to feel self-satisfied they were being true to their beliefs and honest in their desire to lead a better life.

We have therefore, if you follow that reasoning, actually made some advances in logical thought and reasonable expectations of leadership in some of today’s PNG politicians. Clearly there’s only a thousand years of education and understanding to go, if one goes by the European examples.

As tru bilo displa bengbeng istap we nau ia?

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